Title: The Twins of Auschwitz
Author: Eva Mozes Kor with Lisa Rojany Buccieri
Publisher: Monoray, Octopus
Publication Date: 6th August 2020
The Nazis spared their lives because they were twins.
In the summer of 1944, Eva Mozes Kor and her family arrived at Auschwitz.
Within thirty minutes, they were separated. Her parents and two older sisters were taken to the gas chambers, while Eva and her twin, Miriam, were herded into the care of the man who became known as the Angel of Death: Dr. Josef Mengele. They were 10 years old.
While twins at Auschwitz were granted the ‘privileges’ of keeping their own clothes and hair, they were also subjected to Mengele’s sadistic medical experiments. They were forced to fight daily for their own survival and many died as a result of the experiments, or from the disease and hunger rife in the concentration camp.
In a narrative told simply, with emotion and astonishing restraint, The Twins of Auschwitz shares the inspirational story of a child’s endurance and survival in the face of truly extraordinary evil.
Also included is an epilogue on Eva’s incredible recovery and her remarkable decision to publicly forgive the Nazis. Through her museum and her lectures, she dedicated her life to giving testimony on the Holocaust, providing a message of hope for people who have suffered, and worked toward goals of forgiveness, peace, and the elimination of hatred and prejudice in the world.
As the number of remaining Holocaust survivors lessens due to age it becomes even more imperative that their stories are never ever forgotten and books like The Twins of Auschwitz are one of the ways to ensure this. It is the personal story of Eva Mozes Kor, who survived Auschwitz in part due to the fact she was an identical twin. She was chosen by the despicable ‘Dr’ Josef Mengele due to his obsession with twins and using them in this medical experiments. This book tells us what it was like to be one of ‘Mengele’s twins’ and how she managed to get her and her sister through the horrific experience of life in a concentration camp.
The Twins of Auschwitz is a story told in a simple and straightforward way – this is, I believe, because it is aimed at a younger audience to educate young people on the Holocaust. This simplistic style in no way takes away from the deep emotional resonance and power of the story of Eva’s experiences and this is a book that can be read by both the young and old. It is suitable for older children to read without minimising in any way the brutality and cruelty of the Nazi regime. It is exactly the sort of book that should be required reading in schools because is gives us the perspective of a ten year old child living through a truly unimaginable horror and that will bring into focus the reality of what happened to the young and the old indiscriminately during the war.
Eva is a fascinating and impressive person to read about and I found the story of her life after the war just as gripping as the story of her fight for survival. She made the decision to publicly forgive the Nazi’s for what they did to her which led to a lot of controversy in her life. Many survivors disagreed with her decision and perhaps slightly misinterpreted it in a way I can completely understand. It is a difficult thing to comprehend in some ways but I really appreciated her courage in sticking to her beliefs and being truly herself for her entire life – no matter what. This book is an intriguing insight to a brave, tenacious and memorable woman and I would highly recommend it to both adults and children alike.
Thank you so much to Anne Cater of Random Things Blog Tours for inviting me on this tour and organising it. I kindly received a copy of the book from the publisher. My review is my own honest opinion.